In a shocking revelation pertaining to the recent Bharat Bandh protests, Madhya Pradesh’s inspector general of police (Intelligence) Makrand Deouskar has stated that individuals and organisations were provided with funds to spread violence. The violence that spread across the country claimed ten lives. The Bandh was announced by the opposition against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST act by the Supreme Court.
According to a report by The Free Press Journal, the money was distributed throughout the state. However, the districts of Morena, Gwalior, and Bhind received a huge amount of money. The situation in these districts still remains tensed and night curfew remains in place. An investigation by the agency revealed that the protests were coordinated with intentions of creating trouble. Posters, banners, and even lathis were provided to the youth taking part in the bandh. Were the lathis given for peaceful protests?
The agencies under the BJP led government in the state have swung in action quickly. Apart from sending hundreds of police personnel to control the situation during the bandh, stringent measures have been taken post the protests. A deputy manager of the bank was arrested after videos of him involved in the violence emerged. FIRs were filed against four persons for sharing provocative materials on the social media. Thousands of gun licenses were also cancelled by the police following firing incidents during the bandh.
A pertinent question arises that who is orchestrating these protests? Notably, there have been several protests across India in the last one year including in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Rajasthan and a few more. Many of these protests were being fuelled by spreading misinformation and rampant fear mongering. During the recent Bharat bandh, several news reports emerged where protesters were under the impression that SC/ST reservations were being cancelled.
On more than one instances, the leaders of the protesting groups had eventually expressed their support for the Congress party. Be it Hardik Patel of the ‘Patidar Anamat Andolan’ or Karni Sena which celebrated Congress’ victory in the Rajasthan by-polls. People of India need to think hard that why the country burns and riots are rampant when a certain party is out of power. Even if one were to consider there are no such links, the scale and planning of these agitations should remove all the doubts.
All the protests have been well-funded and planned. It is worth remembering that during the unfortunate killing of Journalist Gauri Lankesh, the pseudo-liberals were ready with printed posters to blame the Modi led BJP for the killing. Similarly, the farmers in Tamil Nadu have protested more in Delhi instead of their home state. The necessity of the recent Bharat Bandh is also questionable given the fact that the NDA led Government had also filed a review petition against the Supreme Court order.
Irrespective of ideologies and political affiliations, everyone must condemn and speak against this politics of protests. The entire country is being allowed to burn for a few votes, while the loss of property and lives are termed ‘collateral damages’. To protest against the government is every citizen’s right in a democracy. But, it is also the responsibility of citizens to ensure that a few shrewd politicians do not leverage it to cease the power for themselves by organizing paid violent protests.
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